Sunday, April 12, 2009

Shannon Butcher Visiting Dignitary

So, welcome to the blog. Now first I want to deny all those pesky rumors that have arisen that I’ve resorted to beating other authors about the head and neck to drag them here, which is simply not true! They’re here because they WANT to be. REALLY.
ANYWAY, I’m going to dive right in.

Yes, ma’am. Anything you say, ma’am. Please don’t take out the hose again.

Is there any one character you’ve written that is your absolute favorite? Why? I have two favorites. My favorite hero so far has been Caleb from NO CONTROL. He sprang to life in my head fully formed, and was the easiest male character I’ve ever written. Plus, he’s all sexy and honorable, which I love.

I also have enjoyed writing the character Nika Madison, who readers won’t get to meet until January, 2010 when book two of The Sentinel Wars, FINDING THE LOST, comes out. She’s tortured and tragic and brave in a way I don’t think I ever could be. I haven’t yet written her story, but it’s bubbling in the back of my brain, anxious to get out. Her story will be the next paranormal I tackle.

Writing is hard work! Have you ever had the dread WRITER’S BLOCK? If so, what do you do to get past it?

I don’t really think I get writer’s block, mostly because I refuse to allow it to happen. I have times when the writing is hard, but a block implies something I’m unable to get past. Sure, sometimes I question if I’m headed on the right path with a story (and often have to delete huge chunks of suckfulness), or have a difficult time getting a scene just right, but I don’t stop writing. I take my writing seriously and treat it as a profession the same way I did engineering. I can’t imagine what kind of reaction I’d have gotten from my boss if I’d told him, “I’m sorry I can’t work today. I have engineer’s block.” J

You and your husband are both successful writers. Do you share an office? Act as each other's beta readers? Or do you avoid it like the PLAGUE?

No, we do not share an office. I need things neat and orderly and quiet in order to work. Jim enjoys his chaos. Immensely. In fact, I’m not even allowed to dust or vacuum his office, which works fine for me. As long as there’s a door I can shut so I don’t have to look at it, we’re good.

We occasionally beta read for each other, but it’s becoming more rare. The busier we get, the less time we have for it, which is probably one of those blessing-in-disguise things, as our writing styles are very different. We do, however, spend hours talking shop. We hash out plots and characters and discuss the business side of writing on a daily basis. It’s one of my favorite things about being married to a writer. He gets it.

Almost every author I’ve met gives back to the community by supporting favorite charities. Do you have one? Could you tell me about it? Is there a particular reason why that charity?

I’m a fan of both the Susan G. Komen Foundation ( as well as American Cancer Society ( My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34 and died at 44, so it’s definitely one of those causes that’s near and dear to my heart.

So, what does your schedule look like for the next few months? Anything new coming out that we should keep an eye out for? Tell us about it.

I’m really excited about the release of my new paranormal romance series, The Sentinel Wars. It’s a project I’ve been toying with for years, and it’s a thrill to finally get to hold the first book in my hands. I wasn’t sure it would ever actually happen, but BURNING ALIVE comes out May 5, 2009.

I also have a new romantic suspense coming out this October, called LOVE YOU TO DEATH. It’s a stand-alone, and definitely some of the creepiest stuff I’ve ever written. So creepy, in fact, that I actually went out and bought a gun and learned how to use it, just in case.

What about appearances: Tour dates, signings and such. Gimme details!

I’ll be signing books at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego on May 9, 2009, as well as at the Barnes & Noble store in Independence, MO on May 16. I’ll be attending a couple of conventions this summer in Chicago and Washington D.C. and you can find details for all of those at my website:

What type of books do you read for pleasure? Any favorite authors?

I tend to read what I write, so I stick mostly to romantic suspense and paranormal romance. I do pick up other flavors of romance, but it’s not very often that I veer away from some kind of romance, ‘cause they just make me happy. I love Sherrilyn Kenyon, Suzanne Brockmann, J. R. Ward, Lori Foster, and Linda Howard, just to name a few.

Do you have a day job, or do you write full-time?

I’m fortunate to be able to write full-time, and started doing so within a few months of leaving my previous day job as an industrial engineer.

Any favorite hobbies?

I LOVE beads. Little bits of shiny glass, metal and crystal are like heroin to me. I can’t get enough, so I’m constantly making and giving away beaded pieces so I have an excuse to buy more beads.

I’ve also been known to quilt and do some costuming, but those obsessions have been completely overshadowed by my current bead addiction.

If you could only give one piece of advice to new or aspiring writers, that would help them in the business, what would it be?

Write. Write a lot. Slog through those first difficult books where you might not know what you’re doing, and learn your craft. Every one of those bad books is important. Once you get through those, don’t stick the good stuff in a drawer. Submitting your work for rejection is hard, but if you don’t, you’ll never see your name on that shelf at the book store. How sad would that be?

I’m also a big fan of critique groups. I’d recommend you choose the members of your group as carefully as you would a spouse (‘cause a bad crit partner can suck the will to write right out of you), but they’re definitely worth the effort if you get a good crit partner or group.

Now Folks, Shannon has a contest going on her website for April, so you need to stop by there. It's got VERY cool prizes. And for our readers here, the first one to comment gets an autographed copy of NO ESCAPE her romantic suspense book.


Dolly said...

Cie...this is so cool. Not only do you interact with your readers, you're bringing more authors on board. I love it. I've not currently read any of Shannon's books but now I will check them out. Thanks so much for all your energy to reach us readers.

Suzette said...

Always great to meet new authors. I have become a fan of different authors because the ones I do read introduce them in their blogs.

Unknown said...

WOW i cant keep up with new authors to me

ill be watching for the yahoogroup if you decide